Oct. 18, 2013
MANHATTAN, Kan. - K-State Women's Rowing competes this Sunday in the Kansas University head races in Lawrence, Kan. For the Wildcats, it is their second and last race of the fall before heading into the winter to train for the upcoming spring season.
Head coach Patrick Sweeney said the Wildcats' approach remains the same as earlier this month at the Head of the Oklahoma. In Oklahoma City, Okla., K-State focused on getting the newcomers some collegiate experience while trying a variety of boat lineups.
"We have the same approach, but will have some changed lineups," Sweeney said. "We are going to try out new kids, who have shown improvement in practice these past few weeks."
Sweeney added that it gives the team an opportunity to "blood a few more bodies," while also getting a chance to see a couple members from last year's team that were not available for the Head of the Oklahoma.
For K-State, the novice rowers are worth keeping an eye on after a solid showing in Oklahoma City. The Novice 8A boat in particular was especially strong, posting a time of 15:49.943 and the Wildcats' best overall finish in third place.
Sweeney said for this weekend he plans on splitting the 8A boat in half and pairing each group of four girls with four other freshmen.
"The idea is to bring in a few more freshmen, have more bodies moving up the ladder," Sweeney said. "It'll be interesting to see what happens. Hopefully we will have two even fast 8's rather than one fast 8."
The races in Lawrence present K-State with a rare opportunity to race close to home in the fall. Normally traveling out of state where weather can be volatile this time of year, Sweeney said the opportunity to race closer to home is both convenient and a great opportunity for the team.
"The trouble in these cases is travel where the races can get cancelled due to weather," Sweeney said. "This race is on our doorstep which makes it easier for us."
Heading into winter training and the January training camp only a couple months away, competing against conference opponents will give the Wildcats a good idea of where they stand as a unit.
"These races give us a baseline of where we are at," Sweeney said. "We'll be able to gauge whether we are going in the right or wrong in direction. It's an information, fact-finding thing."
Hosted by Kansas, the event will include Tulsa, Drake and Central Oklahoma along with the Wildcats. The head races will be the first home event hosted by KU since the Boathouse at Burcham Park was built in 2009. Racing will begin at 1 p.m. and conclude at 5 p.m.
Following this race the Wildcats will not compete again until the Longhorn Invitational starting March 22, 2014. Visit www.k-statesports.com for more information.